University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

News From The Capitol: February 17, 2015

In AR Legislature on February 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

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This morning the House Committee on Education gave a Do Pass recommendation to a bill that would give districts more flexibility in making up missed school days.

School Make-up Days
Rep. Charlotte Douglas presented HB1313 that would allow schools to make up missed time in 60-minute increments. Douglas noted the difficulty of providing quality instruction during make-up days added to the end of the school year. She said HB1313 would let schools make up hours during the term, when instructional time is more beneficial. Districts would still have to submit a plan to ADE for approval. Richard Abernathy, Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, spoke in favor of the bill and gave the example of a flooded building that caused one campus to close but did not affect other campuses in the district. Under HB1313, the one campus could make up time by adding hours to the beginning or ending of a school day, and all the schools in the district could still end the year at the same time. The bill now moves to the floor of the House.

Another bill that pertains to inclement weather, SB180, would give superintendents up to five school days per year either to delay start time or to dismiss school early without losing a credited school day. SB180 passed in the Senate and awaits consideration by the House of Representatives.

Both bills have emergency clauses that allow them to take effect immediately if they become law, so that these policy changes would apply to this school year.

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